I didn’t think it would happen to me.
I thought we’d be bouncing into her classroom with all smiles and giggles and she’d be asking us to leave. We were READY!
But that’s not how it went.
On the morning of Gwyneth’s first day of Kindergarten she was excited, compliant, and excited to get all dolled up. I had fun curling her hair, just the two of us, and talking to her about what her first day might be like.
Breakfast was quickly eaten, and outside we went for our traditional first day of school photos. She bounced from pose to pose, picking rose petals to compliment her outfit.
When we arrived at the school, it was packed. Cars everywhere, lining the streets. My mood changed, worried we would be parking so far away that we would be late. And I could see the change in Gwyn, too.
After the long walk, we met The Hubby inside and proceeded to the classroom. This is where Gwyn clutched our hands tightly, sticking close by our sides. I could see the uncertainty in her eyes, and in turn, made me nervous for her.
We settled her in, found her desk, and hung up her backpack. And all the while I studied our Gwyn, trying to read her feelings. She followed instruction and did as she was asked, but was quiet while doing so.
And this is where it hit me.
From here on out, school is where she is going to be spending the majority of her time. Where she will need to make her own friends. Where she will eat her lunch, without me. Where what she does there is for the most part, unknown to me, unless I am unable to pry out any details.
While I have this last year to keep her home half the day, after that it’s seven or more hours a day away.
And it will only get busier and busier as she gets older.
Parents were asked to stay for the first fifteen minutes of class, and it was during the pledge of allegiance as I watched her among her peers that the tears began to well and I could no longer finish the words.
And while the kids were on the rug listening to The Kissing Hand being read to them, my nose began to hurt, my chest tightened and the tears rolled.
Our Kindergartners were then asked to say goodbye to theri parents, and I couldn’t look my Gwyn in the eye. I didn’t want her to see the tears streaming down my face as she was about to begin her journey into big-kid school.
With a long, tight hug, a kiss on the cheek and an encouraging good-bye, I hid my face and turned to walk away so that she wouldn’t see me. I wanted her to feel confident, brave and excited about her new surroundings, and not feed off of what I was feeling inside.
The Hubby, concerned, also said goodbye to Gwyn and asked me if I was okay on our way out.
All I could do was nod, though. For if I spoke about it I knew all would be lost. That, or a loud cry-snort would emerge, and I was doing my best not to embarrass our girl on her first day.
I cried my way out of the school, scolding my inner-self to get a grip.
I didn’t think this would happen to me, but watching my baby grow up proved harder than I thought.
After school, Gwyn ran up to me with a big smile on her face as we embraced.
Still quiet, though, I was worried she didn’t have a good day as she didn’t want to talk about what she had done.
It wasn’t until we got home that I was able to pry…. bribe… some details out of her. For every detail she gave me about her day, she was able to eat one fruit snack.
And after listening to her facts, I deemed she had a pretty good day, but was just trying to get adjusted to her new surroundings.
So, we did it. We got through the first day. There are many, many more to come and I only hope these first days get easier because my mama emotions can’t handle many more of these!
And our Cal had HIS first day of preschool the very next day, and I am proud to say I handled myself much better. Especially since he ran in ahead of me and then basically told me it was okay to go. “Okay, son. Got it. Have a great day!”